Dear St. Dominic School Families,
At a press conference this morning, Governor Walz announced that he is ordering Minnesota school districts close their campuses from March 18-27, 2020 to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Our plans are developing quickly and we will have much more information to share with you in the future. The health of students, families, staff and our community is our top priority. Many details about the topics below will be shared with you on Monday, March 16. For now, I wanted to communicate some very important information.
- We will operate with a regular schedule on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Families may opt to keep their students at home and this will be considered an excused absence. Please continue to follow our regular process of contacting the school if your student will be absent on either of these days.
- We will be having Mass on Tuesday at 8:20am instead of Wednesday, led by our 5th graders.
- There will be no school or e-Learning days scheduled for March 18, 19, and 20. This will allow teachers time to prepare longer-term online learning approaches should school closures extend beyond this initial period.
- All after school activities, practices, events, and building rentals are canceled beginning Monday, at least through the end of Spring Break on March 30. This includes all Community Education programs.
- Should school closure continue beyond spring break, families will have the opportunity to pick up an iPad for their child in kindergarten through 5th grade on Monday, March 30. (6th-8th grade students already take iPads home with them.)
- Before and after school Saint Watch will operate using a regular schedule Monday and Tuesday and will not be available between March 18 and March 30.
- Students with a need can access free meals on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week at a minimum. We will provide further information regarding this based on family need.
- Child care for parents who are healthcare workers or emergency workers will be provided. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to provide additional services to families in other professions. We have emailed a link to a Google form to submit a request. If you did not receive this, please contact Vicki or Kayla.
- Internet access at home will be an important part of your child’s education during this period. Internet service providers including Charter Spectrum are providing free access to families impacted by school closures. For more information, visit: https://www.spectrum.com/
- We are planning to reopen schools with a regular schedule on Tuesday, March 31, however, it is possible that may change.
- We are committed to compensating our regularly scheduled employees for any lost time due to COVID-19 related closures. I am grateful for their flexibility and partnership.
- The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has prepared guidance for parents to talk with their children about COVID-19.
You may see other schools that are following a different timeline regarding closure and distance learning. Many of these districts or Catholic schools are currently on Spring Break and made the decision not to re-open this week. We respect their decisions and recognize that each school community must make the best decision for their students, families and staff. Please know St. Dominic School is working cooperatively with the Northfield Public School District and will follow the same schedule.
Thank you for your understanding, patience, support, and forgiveness during this rapidly changing pandemic health crisis. The safety and support of our students, families, staff, and communities are our top priority. We will continue to update families on weekdays, even over spring break, with additional information and on weekends as needed.
Vicki Kalina Marvin